Following the news Chris Evans is departing the Top Gear studio after only six episodes, bets are already being opened on his replacement.
“It perhaps isn’t the biggest surprise that Chris Evans has left but the odds would suggest that a replacement is some way off from being chosen. Given the nature the job you cannot imagine big names will be queuing to grab the poisoned chalice.” – William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly
50-year-old Evans, who is best remembered as host of The Big Breakfast, TFI Friday and Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, had been under intense media pressure since it was confirmed last year he would be lead host of Top Gear for BBC Two. A show which is a massive hit for BBC Worldwide, with a massive global audience. However in the UK the 2016 series has proved to be far from popular with television viewers last nights final edition in the current run pulled in only 1.9 million viewers in the overnight ratings.
Evans, who also presents for BBC Radio 2, announced this morning he wouldn’t be returning to the show.
“Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.” – Chris Evans on Twitter
Chris joined Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson’s contract with the BBC was terminated, effectively sacking him for an incident with a producer. James May and Richard Hammond then decided to quit. The series originally launched in the 1970s, but it was its reboot in the early 2000s under Clarkson, May and Hammond which saw the series become the major success it had been up until the current series.
Following the departure of Chris Evans after just six episodes, William Hill are undecided as to who will replace him. They have come up with some favourites. Their top five are Guy Martin, Rebecca Jackson, Jenson Button, Philip Glenister and Dermot O’Leary all offered at 8/1.
To replace Chris Evans on series 24 of Top Gear: 8/1 Guy Martin; 8/1 Rebecca Jackson; 8/1 Jenson Button; 8/1 Philip Glenister; 8/1 Dermot O’Leary; 12/1 James Martin; 14/1 Steve Coogan; 14/1 Suzi Perry; 25/1 Jimmy Carr; 25/1 David Coulthard; 25/1 Ken Block; 25/1 Johnny Vaughan; 25/1 Eddie Irvine; 25/1 Jake Humphries; 25/1 Jay Leno; 33/1 Rowan Atkinson; 33/1 Martin Brundle; 50/1 James Blunt; 50/1 Ant and Dec; 50/1 Matthew Perry, 100/1 BAR
*bets void if not replaced or replaced by a current member of the roster
Matt le Blanc to remain as host for the next series: 1/6 yes; 7/2 no